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Article: Twins Draft Preview: Aaron Nola

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:11 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...view-Aaron-Nola

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#2 whosafraidofluigirussolo

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:18 PM

"[FONT=Arial]but there little question that his fastball is not a significant weapon"[/FONT]

I don't think this means what you think it means...?

#3 Parker Hageman

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:26 PM

One word too many.

#4 AM.

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:00 AM

I'm liking Nola more and more as the draft comes up. Even if he doesn't wind up as a big strikeout guy, his ability to limit walks seems like an 80-grade tool. (A tool that is also hard to develop.) For some reason, I am envisioning him coming out of this draft as the best pitcher by far, with teams kicking themselves for passing on him.

If they were able to sign him for below slot at #5, they could take an overslot HS pitcher in the second round.

The biggest reason not to draft him is that this might be the last chance the Twins have for a while to have this high of a high draft pick, and therefore it might be the last really good chance to get the SS of the future in a guy like Gordon.

#5 AM.

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:10 AM

Here is a comp:
Maddux: 6'0", 170lbs, RHP, Career rates of 6.1K/9 and 1.8BB/9, 8.5H/9, 0.6HR/9.
Nola: 6'2", 170lbs, 9.4K/9, 1.4BB/9, 6.5H/9, 0.5HR/9.

#6 drivlikejehu

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:44 AM

Here is a comp:
Maddux: 6'0", 170lbs, RHP, Career rates of 6.1K/9 and 1.8BB/9, 8.5H/9, 0.6HR/9.
Nola: 6'2", 170lbs, 9.4K/9, 1.4BB/9, 6.5H/9, 0.5HR/9.


Yeah, fair comparison.

#7 jimbo92107

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 07:25 AM

Nola reminds me of Jered Weaver. Easy slinging motion, pinpoint control. See how he bent that ball from just outside the zone to nip the inside corner? If that's typical of his command, then this guy is going to win a lot of games.

#8 gunnarthor

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 07:28 AM

I like Nola a lot. Admittedly, part of the reason is I don't want to wait 5 years for the pick to make it to the majors like Gordon will need. If one of the big 4 doesn't fall to us, then I'd be happy with either Nola or Freeland. But I'm still hoping for a surprise and nabbing Jackson.

But we'll draft Gordon.

#9 LewFordLives

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 07:36 AM

You can never have too much pitching. I think the comments about this being the last time the Twins pick this high for a while are right on target. Don't waste this pick on some high school project. Go for one of the established college arms. As we've seen over the past week, the Twins are completely different team when they get even a little bit of pitching. Many of the pitching prospects they have now will get hurt or never pan out. Use this pick on another arm!

#10 tobi0040

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 07:40 AM

Yeah, fair comparison.


Yeah, we have to take him. He is going to be one of the best pitchers of all time.

I remember when Slowey received comps to Maddux because he didn't walk anyone.

#11 tobi0040

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 07:51 AM

You can never have too much pitching. I think the comments about this being the last time the Twins pick this high for a while are right on target. Don't waste this pick on some high school project. Go for one of the established college arms. As we've seen over the past week, the Twins are completely different team when they get even a little bit of pitching. Many of the pitching prospects they have now will get hurt or never pan out. Use this pick on another arm!


I think it comes down to how many k's will this guy get. If we think he will walk less than 2 batters per 9 and K over 7, I would come around a bit to drafting him at 5. I have read a few scouts say that he doesn't have that swing and miss pitch. The one pitch on this article looks great, but it was one pitch. My understanding is he has gotten better as the year progressed and has seen his stock rise, do scouts feel like that fastball or change up are now swing and miss pitches?

#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:01 AM

I remember when Slowey received comps to Maddux because he didn't walk anyone.


Comping a draft pick to Maddux is always a good place to start. No downside to comping a kid to one of the best pitchers of all time.

#13 gunnarthor

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:39 AM

My understanding is he has gotten better as the year progressed and has seen his stock rise, do scouts feel like that fastball or change up are now swing and miss pitches?


Callis and Mayo at mlbpipeline give him two plus (60) pitches and rank him #5 in the draft. (And plus command, too). That would make him a legit #2 type pitcher if he pans out.

#14 AM.

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:08 AM

Comping a draft pick to Maddux is always a good place to start. No downside to comping a kid to one of the best pitchers of all time.


OK, fine. It was a lousy place to start. I take it back! Plus, I really don't think Nola will be as good as Maddux.

The downside on Nola, I think, is that he isn't tall enough, doesn't throw it fast enough, and doesn't have one dominating pitch. But if Nola can turn into a pitcher with 3+ K/BB rates, <9 H/9, and keep HRs down...wouldn't that be an exceptional pitcher?

#15 pierre75275

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:16 AM

If the twins took Nola at 5 what are the chances that one of Gatewood, Gordon or Turner is still available? Or if they took one of those three out are the chances they can still get a good pitcher equal to Nola at 46

#16 tobi0040

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:32 AM

Callis and Mayo at mlbpipeline give him two plus (60) pitches and rank him #5 in the draft. (And plus command, too). That would make him a legit #2 type pitcher if he pans out.


I have generally heard references to plus pitches being 65+, but I don't know if this is neccesarily an exact science.

Fangraphs gives comps and stats that provide context to the numbers, but only on command and fastball velocity. For 60 command they give a BB rate of 5.7% and the comp is Rick Porcello. He has a career 2.2 BB per 9, which is very good. 60 fastball velocity averages 93 mph.

I like the Porcello comp as a potential floor for Nola, career ERA 4.42 and FIP of 4.06. Porcello's ERA was hurt by the fact that he was starting at 20. But Nola should be around 2.2 BB Per 9, but the key is the K's. Porcello is at 5.5 per 9. If Nola can be in the 6.5-7.5 per 9 range I think he can be a #2 starter as well. Given a lower bust potential, if we think he can be that guy I don't hate the pick here, although Jackson and a higher upside arm intrigue me a little more.

http://www.fangraphs...ale-sabr-style/

#17 gunnarthor

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:46 AM

http://www.minorleag...-3-4-5-starters

That's from minorleague ball defining the terms when scouts talk about it. Baseball prospectus had something pretty similar although I don't have the link for it and Klaw uses similar definitions as well (ie - 60 = 6 = plus).

I'd prefer Jackson to fall to us but it's unlikely.

#18 markos

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:12 AM

Given a lower bust potential, if we think he can be that guy I don't hate the pick here, although Jackson and a higher upside arm intrigue me a little more.

http://www.fangraphs...ale-sabr-style/


This is exactly how I feel - I don't hate the pick but would prefer someone else.

Also, I'm bookmarking that link. Thanks for sharing.

#19 Macneil4025

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:21 AM

I want Aaron Nola and its not even close! I'm not sure a Greg Maddux comp is fair, but a Brad Radke comp is more in line. Wouldn't everybody here discussing this agree a 2nd coming of Brad Radke would be more then welcome on the MN Twins!! Take him, develop Polanco & Santana at short!! You can never have enough quality pitching!!

#20 cmb0252

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 10:31 AM

Average is 50, above average is 55, plus is 60-65, plus-plus is 70+.

As for Nola, I'm just not a fan. If the Twins want a 6'1-6'2 pitcher give me Grant Holmes because of his raw stuff. Maybe I'm just a sucker for stuff or maybe it is because rarely is fastest to the bigs/safest ever turn out to be accurate.

Wimmers, Gilmartin, and Hultzen (no I'm not comparing stuff but the label all of them were given) injuries/set backs have stopped all three from quick to the big arms. Brian Johnson was given the same label in 2012 and he might actually live up to it. I just don't like when part of a players value is link to quickness to the bigs.